Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

ESCC welding student Shannon Seward

“I went in feeling nervous, intimidated, and inadequate, and I’m leaving feeling confident, capable, strong and more prepared for a career as a welder.” – Shannon Seward, ESCC welding student

Wrapping up her 12-week summer internship at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Island, Virginia flight facility, ESCC welding student Shannon Seward was upbeat:

“My experience at MARS will have a big impact on my future…” said Seward. “When I finish school, I plan to start a career as a welder. Being a female working in a predominantly male field will have its challenges, but I know I’ll be able to handle it. I learned a lot from the guys I worked with, and they all treated me with respect.”

Seward and three other Technical Studies students from ESCC, Tanner Doughty, Hunter Annese, and Trevor Hill, worked alongside technicians and engineers at the Virginia spaceport. Each participant was teamed with a site mentor and ESCC internship/job placement coordinator who tracked their progress.

 (l to r) 2019 ESCC-MARS Interns Tanner Doughty, Hunter Annese, John Floyd, Professor Electronics, Sheilla Taylor, MARS Senior Project Manager, Debbie Daniels, Internship Coordinator, Interns Trevor Hill, and Shannon Seward.

The MARS project places students in a full-time, real-world, work-based learning experience during a paid internship over the summer. Over the past several years, the spaceport has hired more than half the ESCC interns who participated in the program as technicians, inspectors, and support specialists.

Started at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in 2013, the internship project is the result of a partnership between ESCC and the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCFSA)/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

Read ESCC’s news release here.

Read more about the Virginia spaceport here.

NASA’s other major facility in Virginia, Hampton’s Langley Research Center, also played host to VCCS students this summer. Read their story here.

jbabb@vccs.edu'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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